Much like Eloise, who “lives in the room on the tippy-top floor” of the Plaza Hotel in New York City, with her Nanny, her pug dog Weenie, and her turtle Skiperdee, I have been living at the Hilton Hotel in Seoul for 3 months (with a visit back home in the middle). Tonight is our last night in this strange universe where people like Andy Warhol, Coco Chanel, Tennessee Williams, Jack Kerouac, Janis Joplin, and Howard Hughes were long-term residents of luxury hotels. (Of course, ours is part of the “relocation package”).
I can see why they wanted to stay. Room service, 24-hour concierge service, an entire staff at your beck and call…not bad work if you can get it. Everyone here has been delightful. From the adorable bell boy (more politically correctly referred to as “attendant”) who smiles and bows and runs to call the elevator when I walk in the lobby, to the host who waves me in and seats me at my same table every morning for breakfast, pouring my coffee without even asking (he KNOWS!), to the chef who serves my fried rice and green beans (weird, I know…) every morning – they have all been wonderful.
The dirty laundry appears, transformed, every afternoon, folded Marie Kondo-style and the maid rushes to place slippers on my bare feet if I forget to do so before she comes in to clean. Three meals a day are prepared and served and the gym attendant greets me at the door with a bottle of water and a towel, which he uses to wipe down the treadmill before and after my use. Wow! A girl could get used to this….
But, I’d better not! As they say, all good things must end. The jig is up. It’s time to move on.
And, as luxurious as this has been, I’m excited about starting our “real life” here in Seoul. As long as somebody is cooking for you, there’s no need to study the markets and learn to cook the local fare. When a doorman hails a cab, there’s no reason to learn the subway lines. And, when everyone on staff speaks beautiful English, there’s no pressure to learn the language. To me, all of these things are the basis of living in a foreign country. Tomorrow, the real adventure begins.
Though we have rugs and tables and beautiful carved chests, there are still no beds. They are due to be delivered tomorrow – just in the nick of time. (we’ll see…). The shipping crate is in and is due to be there tomorrow as well. So, there will be a bed and pillows, and even sheets and a blanket (maybe). Seriously, who could ask for more?
Like Eloise’s Nanny always says…